WikiLeaks: UNSC reform: NZ will abstain from G-4 vote

Published: Mon 20 Dec 2010 02:58 PM
WikiLeaks cable: UNSC reform: NZ will abstain from G-4 vote
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
Classified By: Charge David R. Burnett, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) This message contains an action request, at paras 2 and 8.
2. (C) Summary: New Zealand is likely to abstain if a G-4 reform vote is brought before the General Assembly. GNZ officials have offered to encourage undecided Pacific Island governments to vote down or abstain from the resolution if that would be helpful to us. Please advise. End Summary.
3. (C) On July 29, Pol/Econ (PE) Couns discussed Ref A points with Joan Mosely and Wen Powles, Director and Deputy Director of the UN and Commonwealth Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The two officials were unaware that the G-4 and African Union had reached agreement on a UNSC reform proposal. Mosely said that as of that point New Zealand had no position on the G-4 proposal. She reiterated GNZ's position (Ref B) that the current structure of the UNSC was unrepresentative and anachronistic, and that any UNSC expansion should include Japan. Mosely also shared with PE Couns the July 12 statement in which Rosemary Banks, NZ's UN PermRep, explained why New Zealand opposed the reform proposal then before UNGA. Banks statement noted that New Zealand continues to oppose any extension of the UNSC veto and believes that any added UNSC positions should be subject to periodic review.
4. (C) Mosely stressed that New Zealand sees the UNSC reform process as very important and does not want to see it fail. PE Couns agreed, but noted that the United States believes a contentious vote on UNSC reform at this time could undermine the even more pressing debate on overall UN reform. She reminded Mosely that the United States and New Zealand agree on the need to rationalize the UN's Human Rights work as well as other reform issues (Ref B).
5. (C) Mosely said that the latest G-4 proposal she had seen had not meet the principles that UN PermRep Banks had outlined, but she reiterated that GNZ did not yet have a formal position on a G-4 resolution. That position, she said, would be decided "at the highest level" (i.e., by PM Clark) after a review of the G-4/AU proposal. Mosely noted that the Embassies of Japan, Brazil, Italy had all been in to see MFAT on the reform issue.
6. (C) On August 2, the Charge had a follow-up conversation about the G-4 proposal with Foreign Minister Goff, who had just returned from the ASEAN meeting in Laos. The Minister told the Charge that New Zealand would likely abstain from any vote on the G-4 proposal should it be put before the General Assembly. He admitted that this would be easier than going back to Japan and others to explain why New Zealand would vote against the resolution.
7. (C) Goff said that he would be willing to speak to undecided Pacific Island countries to encourage them to oppose the G-4 resolution. He asked that the Embassy let him know of any countries where such an approach would be useful. Goff said he was expecting a call from the Chinese Foreign Minister about this issue. He also asked if the United States has been lobbying the Australian government to cease its support for the G-4 resolution. The Charge said that the last reporting that he had seen indicated that GOA officials are still planning to back the G-4 proposal.
8. (C) Action request: Please advise Post if we should ask Minister Goff to approach Pacific Island countries about the G-4 proposal.

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